Study afternoon “Cultural History of the Middle Ages: Theory and History of the Field” for PhD and ReMA students, Utrecht, 8 januari 2016

The session “Cultural History of the Middle Ages: Theory and history of the Field”, for PhD and ReMA students, will focus on the recently published textbook *Cultuurgeschiedenis van de Middeleeuwen* [Cultural history of the Middle Ages] by Rob Meens and Carine van Rhijn (eds.), WBooks, Zwolle 2015. The session is organised by the Onderzoekschool Mediëvistiek.

Lecturers: Prof. Peter Hoppenbrouwers/UL, Dr Rob Meens/UU, Dr Carine van
Rhijn/UU and Prof. Catrien Santing/RUG.

Place: Utrecht; exact location to be announced later.

Time: 8 January 2016, from 1.15 p.m.

*N.B. Please submit your assignment by 20 December 2015 at the latest!*

The book cover discusses the Dutch phrase *middeleeuwse toestanden*
(literally ‘Medieval situations’), which is used to describe ‘dark’,
‘primitive’, ‘unpleasant’ situations. This image of the period from 500 to
1500 AD is based on Humanist ideas of the ‘Middle Ages’ as a period of
stagnation or decline. However, this period has also been greatly admired
by some as it saw the birth of modern European nations. Catholics regarded
the Middle Ages as the one period in history in which Europe was truly
Christian, whereas others saw it as a period full of superstition – and
still do. The book uses these kinds of opinions and prejudices as a basis
for an introduction to the culture of the Middle Aes. It shows how such
opinions emerged and how historians today think about this period. The book
provides knowledge of Medieval culture as well as reflection on how we
think about the Middle Ages.

*Registration*Please register by 1 December 2015 at the latest by sending
an e-mail to the Research School secretariat:
Participants must complete and submit the following assignment in advance.


Read the book and write a 2 to 3-page response based on the question: Does
this book represent our image of the Middle Ages, and does it offer a
suitable starting point for studying the Middle Ages in the 21st century?

For foreign students: please peruse Wim Blockmans & Peter
Hoppenbrouwers, *Introduction
to Medieval Europe 300-1500*, London/New York 2014 (second edition), read
in particular Introduction  and Epilogue, and answer the same question.

Please e-mail your response (in Dutch or English) to
<> no later than 20 December 2015. This assignment is part of
the Research School’s teaching programme (student workload: 1 ECTS).

The lecturers will read the responses and discuss them after their
introduction to the topic. This will be followed by a general discussion.
The afternoon will be rounded off with a drinks party.